POT ROAST GROUSE WITH BLACKBERRIES & WHISKEY
2 grouse, hung if possible Olive oil Grated nutmeg, to season 2 fresh thyme sprigs 2 handfuls of brambles or blackberries 4 rashers of good-quality dry-smoked streaky bacon A splash of whiskey A knob of unsalted butter Remove the grouse from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking, to reach room temperature. Rub with oil and season inside and out with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stuff with the thyme and half the brambles. Truss with string. Fry the bacon in a lidded pan (uncovered) over a high heat for a few minutes, until it starts to crisp up. Remove, then add the grouse, browning all over in the bacon fat, adding more oil if needed. Drape the bacon over the grouse and add a splash of whisky to the pan. Light the alcohol carefully with a match. Once the flames have died down, put the rest of the brambles in the pan. Pop the lid on and cook the grouse on a medium heat for 1015 minutes, until cooked but still pink inside. Spoon the brambles out of the birds and into the pan. Remove the grouse from the pan and keep warm. Mash the brambles into the pan juices. Turn up the heat and reduce till thickened. Take the pan off the heat, whisk in the butter and spike with a few drops of whisky. Cut the string from the grouse and serve with the sauce.